Good artificial light source

Hi all, I recently purchased a variety of tropical seeds from the Biodome in Montreal. I'm considering purchasing an acapulco unit: http://www.summertan.com/Catalog/acapulco_package_-_sun_lamp___tanning_lamp_with_floor_stand_2543832.htm
Apparently the relevant information about this unit is that it is a 800 Watt UV Tanning Lamp.
Would this be a good source of light for some plants that I'm growing from seeds? Are there cheaper (less than 400 dollars with tax included) and/or better sources that I should look at?
Thanks, Tim
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snipped-for-privacy@qlink.queensu.ca wrote:

No, plants are subject to sunburn as well as humans. Get HID lamp, either metal halide or high pressure sodium. You can get bulbs in a variety of spectrums for special needs, look at http://www.altgarden.com/index.html for some more info and products.
A UV tanning lamp is a no-no.
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In article snipped-for-privacy@newsguy.com says...

Yikes, the pricing on that site is complicated! Last year I bought a 400W HPS Econogrow system from this place http://www.hydroponics.net/ and it worked out pretty well. In the Econogrow system the ballast sits on the floor away from the light. According to the specs a 400W light covers a 4ft x 4ft area which was good enough for my needs. Anything higher the electric bills start taking their toll.

That's true. I have a florescent setup for vegetative growth plants using regular ballasts and 40W bulbs from Home Depot. I'd go with Metal Halide but I heard they can be a PITA to maintain.
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No problem at all. You have to change the bulb once a year or so. And you can get bulbs from HD, since they are used as warehouse lights and such.
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In article snipped-for-privacy@newsguy.com says...

I read that the MH bulb's color spectrum shifts fairly quickly which you can't see with your naked eye. I debated with myself between HPS and MH but chose HPS for stability. But the HPS is a red spectrum flowering light so some plants didn't do so well under it last winter. However, it might be worthwhile to get one of each and run the MH light from November to January or February and then the HPS light from January to planting outside time. I'm still learning about it.
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The plants in my living room are growing just fine under a 250W MH lamp.
You can spend more $$ and get a MH with a different spectrum, even up to 5000K or so. They are commonly used by reef aquarist, who are much more concerned about spectra.
But yes, changing the bulbs on a routine schedule, like yearly, is better than waiting for them to burn out.

There are advanced tech bulbs, like http://www.altgarden.com/site/bulbs/page1hps.html designed for better spectrum, and better growing.
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John Hines wrote:

I'd like to try "Deluxe" HPS lamps. They have a pretty good color rendering index, so they might provide enough blue light for the plants to grow better. I've only seen Deluxe HPS lamps in the lamp manufacturer's catalogs, never seen them for sale.
Bob
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Alternative garden, the link above has both MH and HPS spectrum enhanced bulbs. The only other place I've seen interest in these kind of bulbs is for aquariums, who need 5000K and above for coral reefs.
Everyone else is interested in the most light for the least $$, so the color quality is not important. The specialty bulbs are more expensive.
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John Hines wrote:

Here's what I was talking about; not a special agricultural lamp but a wide spectrum HPS. I think they ought to make good grow lights even though the lumens are not as high as normal HPS. (Luminocity calibrated to the human eye sensitivity, so it is skewed to yellow-green wavelengths, which plants don't use very efficiently)
http://www.prismaecat.lighting.philips.com/LightSite/Whirlwind.aspx?eca=LNPPLA&cpf=USNPUS&stg T&lan=US+&ecu=LMP|PLC|NP&cnt_key=D_CerCom|PLC|306522++++++++++++&t=3&tree=0&scr_md11&leftnav=1_1_6_6_2&nav=Null&loc=us_en
http://tinyurl.com/8353e
Best regards, Bob
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23:02:59 -0500:

Are streetlights and security lights a PITA to maintain? They are normally metal halide.
-- spud_demon -at- thundermaker.net The above may not (yet) represent the opinions of my employer.
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Spud Demon wrote:
23:02:59 -0500:

HPS security lights are very easy to maintain. MH have to be relamped fairly frequently and so cost a lot more to operate.
Fluorescent T8 lamps on good electronic ballasts are the most economical light source. Plants seem to really like the 3000K lamps.
For lighting a room for growing plants, I'd recommend a 400W HPS security light, supplemented with movable F32T8 fluorescents. I haven't had much luck with just HPS by itself, but HPS worked better than MH once the MH lamps were more than just a few months old.
Best regards, Bob
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snipped-for-privacy@qlink.queensu.ca wrote:

http://www.summertan.com/Catalog/acapulco_package_-_sun_lamp___tanning_lamp_with_floor_stand_2543832.htm I didn't know marjjiiuanna was a tropical plant!
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Now you can't say that any more!!!
wrote:

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Hi Tim, You can take an ordinary shop lamp fluorescent fixture and buy inexpensive grow light fluorescent bulbs at a garden center or home improvement center and they will work perfectly ok. Some people even forgo the grow light bulbs and use ordinary fluorescent bulbs, but I think you get better results with possibly a mixture of the two, to cover the complete spectrum of light that plants need. Don't waste your money on this UV Tanning Lamp, which may have the incorrect light spectrum for raising plants.
Sherwin D.
snipped-for-privacy@qlink.queensu.ca wrote:

http://www.summertan.com/Catalog/acapulco_package_-_sun_lamp___tanning_lamp_with_floor_stand_2543832.htm
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I have been growing "Tropical Plants" for decades under good old "shop lights". Normally with one cool white and one warm white tube per fixture; for flowering plants I might add the special wide spectrum tube. If the particular set up has 2 double tube fixtures, I place the W-S tube so they are in the center and one warm and one cool at either end. W-S tubes are not necessary for starting and growing seeds and seedlings. I do keep the fixtures fairly close to the tops of the seedlings, 2-inches seems to work best..
To reflect the light back onto all parts of the plants/seedlings I hang the silver Mylar coated "Survival Blankets" on three sides of the plant stand, leaving the top open for heat escape.. The front can also be draped with these survival blankets or you can use clear plastic, but I have found this impedes air circulation and can get the area too warm causing the potting mix to dry out too quickly.
I have grown and flowered just about everything fromAfrican Violets to Zygo-cactus under this set-up with great results.
Hemma
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The UV tanning light is a danger to your eyes your skin and your plants. Look for something else snipped-for-privacy@qlink.queensu.ca wrote:

http://www.summertan.com/Catalog/acapulco_package_-_sun_lamp___tanning_lamp_with_floor_stand_2543832.htm
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Wanted to give everyone an update - last week (Friday) I purchased a $40 kit for assembling a flourescent light tube fixture from Rona. I also grabbed 3 Gro light tubes (for $10) and have had the two tubes running since Friday night. I keep the fixture about 2 feet from the pots. If I remember correctly the tubes are only like 40 watt... which kinda surprised me (that the wattage is so low) - but no sprouts yet so I don't think the lights are actually doing anything other than providing a bit of extra heat for the seeds. Much cheaper and as everyone has pointed out - beneficial rather than detrimental to the plants.
Thanks for everyone's advice, Tim
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The lights will not do anything to encourage the sprouts to pop up, except for some heat value, but most of that will rise upwards from the lights. You want to get the lights as close to the emerged plants as possible, moving them away as the plants mature. You may want to try some heating pads from the bottom of these pots, to kind of give the seeds a kick start.
Sherwin D.
snipped-for-privacy@qlink.queensu.ca wrote:

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From what I've been told about growing under artificial light, a fluorescent fixture with one cool tube and one warm tube is just as good as any of the much more pricey gro-lights on the market. Suzy O, Zone 5, Milwaukee, WI

http://www.summertan.com/Catalog/acapulco_package_-_sun_lamp___tanning_lamp_with_floor_stand_2543832.htm
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